Lerma splits from The Richards Group

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Pete Lerma
Pete Lerma, founder and principal of Lerma, formerly part of The Richards Group.

The Richards Group’s multicultural arm Lerma has split from the independent ad giant, taking some execs and clients with it

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the atlantic hillary clinton je
Hillary Clinton is interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, at The Atlantic Festival on October 2, 2018.

Editorial staffers at The Atlantic are forming a union

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Jeffrey Nicholson and Leighton Welch 2

Gary Vaynerchuk-backed data startup raises $9.9 million in seed funding from investors including ex-Walmart exec Marc Lore and Kevin Durant

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Facebook’s Trump ban will last at least 2 years

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for June 7. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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Mark
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook says Donald Trump’s suspension will last at least 2 years, but can be lifted if there is no ‘serious risk to public safety’

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Jason Kilar WarnerMedia CEO
Jason Kilar.

WarnerMedia is pitching an ad-supported HBO Max tier, but some advertisers say the rates are too expensive and are skeptical of the value

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Jonathan Nelson at work
Jonathan Nelson, executive chairman of Providence Equity

A legendary media investor who was an early Hulu backer shares where he’s placing his next big bets and why he thinks Hollywood is over

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What Peloton’s future looks like after its recall on treadmills

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for May 7. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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Peloton Treafd

Experts say Peloton will emerge from the treadmill recall with its bottom line intact – even as its delay in issuing a recall exposes larger safety issues

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clubhouse app
A user of the social media app Clubhouse shows her smartphone with the logo of the audio application.

Buzzy audio app Clubhouse just chose 50 influencers to host pilot shows this month, from ‘Serial Killer Speed Dating’ to ‘The Psychic Pool Party’

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pornhub

Pornhub has been in acquisition talks with an investor group led by a Canadian cannabis entrepreneur

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Verizon is reportedly eyeing a media spin-off

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 29. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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Guru Gowrappan
Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan.

Verizon is reportedly considering a sale of its media assets, including AOL and Yahoo

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri
Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is the latest big advertiser to move business in-house in a loss for ad giant Publicis

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shameless showtime finale
The “Shameless” series finale aired on Sunday.

Lionsgate tried to buy ViacomCBS’ Showtime but was rejected, sources say

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The New York Times is readying a newsletter push

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 26. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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New York Times building

The New York Times is readying a big newsletter push as Substack tries to poach its top writers with advances worth hundreds of thousands

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Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

As Apple gets ready to blow up mobile advertising, this leaked sales deck shows how it was pitching the benefits of personalized ads in 2015

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Shopify logo on phone
A Shopify logo displayed on a smartphone in front of a computer.

Shopify is losing nearly half of its C-suite, including key tech leadership. Analysts worry about what it means for its $1 billion plan to take the fight to Amazon.

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TikTok’s top talent managers

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 23. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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MARIENOR MADRILEJO
Marienor Madrilejo

The top 19 TikTok talent managers and agents helping creators turn social-media fame into diversified businesses

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gov exec CEO Tim Hartman and President Constance Sayers
GovExec CEO Tim Hartman and President Constance Sayers

Government Executive built a profitable media company after spinning off from Atlantic Media last year. Now it’s on the hunt for acquisitions.

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Samsung Wildlife Watch
Samsung provided phones to the Black Mambas, an all-female anti-poaching group in South Africa.

5 PR firms including Edelman and Weber Shandwick share their best public relations successes and why they worked

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The NBA’s return-to-work plan

Hello and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 16. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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russsell westbrook  nba
Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards reacts prior to playing against the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena on February 17, 2021

Leaked memo reveals NBA’s return-to-work plan that calls for remote staff to be back by September

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159319_Photo Apr 14, 8 08 51 AMRT.JPG

ABC News insiders are split about the hiring of new president Kim Godwin, the first Black executive to head a broadcast news network

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fitness influencer
A big following doesn’t mean an influencer is qualified to be sharing advice.

Instagram micro and nano influencers have higher engagement rates than celebs. But on TikTok it’s the opposite.

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How media companies are returning to the office

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 15. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

First, a reminder to sign up for our event about the future of digital advertising on April 22 at 2 PM EST/11 PM PST with The Trade Desk, R/GA, The Washington Post, and Mars.

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Fred Ryan washington post
Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan speaks during a 2019 Pulitzer Prize announcement ceremony in the Post office.

Media companies including Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and ViacomCBS detail their return-to-office plans as workers push for flexibility after the pandemic

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homeland

Showtime insiders worry it will struggle against big-spending rivals like Netflix if it doesn’t broaden its appeal or shake up its strategy

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IPG Phillipe Krakowsky

How a quiet, behind-the-scenes fixer became CEO of the fourth-biggest advertising company – and how he plans to keep its momentum going

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1.3 million Clubhouse users’ data was reportedly leaked

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 12. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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clubhouse app
A user of the social media app Clubhouse shows her smartphone with the logo of the audio application.

Scraped personal data of 1.3 million Clubhouse users has reportedly leaked online

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inmobi naveen tewari
InMobi chief Naveen Tewari

Apple’s upcoming privacy changes are sparking a wave of mobile advertising consolidation. Here are 7 companies experts say could be acquired next.

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Buzzfeed

Newsrooms are facing a mental health crisis and burnout is driving some journalists to quit

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T-Mobile’s TVision closure points to virtual pay TV’s challenges

Hi and welcome to this weekly edition of Insider Advertising, where we track the big stories in media and advertising.

Remember you can sign up to get this newsletter daily here.

First: We extended our deadline to nominate top ad execs leading the charge on data and privacy. Submit here by April 5.

What we’re following this week:

T-Mobile shuts TVision

Digital media layoffs

Workplace issues at Zimmerman Advertising


T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.

Virtual pay TV struggles

While new streaming services launch left and right, T-Mobile is pulling the plug on TVision, its 5-month-old attempt to retain customers with a $10 per month streaming service, Claire Atkinson reported. Key points:

  • Its demise shows the challenges of the virtual pay TV services model that has struggled to find a profitable business.
  • These services historically haven’t offered much of a deal for would-be cord cutters. TVision was troubled from the start, the programming costing far more than it was charging.
  • In the streaming wars, T-Mobile’s loss is a win for YouTube TV and Philo, which it’s offering its customers instead.

Read more: T-Mobile pulled the plug on its streaming video service, TVision, just 5 months after launch

Also read:


nancy dubuc vice ceo
Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc.

Digital media takes another hit

Just as things are starting to look up with more people getting vaccinated and offices planning for reopening comes news of layoffs at a handful of digital media darlings, Steven Perlberg reported.

This may have surprised people who may have thought the blood-letting was over after last spring when advertisers hit the breaks, leaving many ad-dependent media companies to cut costs.

But the challenges these companies faced aren’t new:

  • Vice Media and HuffPost, along with other VC-backed media companies, have struggled to reach their backers’ expectations. HuffPost was just acquired, a move that’s usually followed by layoffs as merged companies look to cut duplicative costs.
  • Mel Magazine, an arm of Dollar Shave Club, was known for its distinctive men’s lifestyle coverage. But as a brand-backed publication that didn’t have any ad revenue coming in, its financial purpose was unclear.
  • And Medium, which also announced cuts, has changed its approach to content countless times over the years, shifting from an ad- to subscription-driven model. This time it was to scale back its own publications that it started just a few years earlier.

Subscriptions and advertising support many news outlets very well, of course. These companies didn’t have enough of either, or their execution was flawed.

Some digital media companies could get a lifeline by going public through SPACs. But the underlying business challenges they face aren’t likely to go away.

Read more: Vice Media just laid off a handful of digital staffers

Also read:


Jordan Zimmerman
Jordan Zimmerman, founder and chairman of Zimmerman Advertising in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Zimmerman Advertising complaints

Zimmerman Advertising and its founder Jordan Zimmerman bear all the trappings of success, with billions in revenue and clients like McDonald’s and Nissan.

But some employees said they experienced micromanaging, misogyny, and racism at the Omnicom-owned agency, Lindsay Rittenhouse reports.

From her story:

In April, Zimmerman Advertising – an Omnicom-owned ad agency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, known for its work with clients like McDonald’s – laid off a batch of employees in the pandemic. That day, the founder and chairman Jordan Zimmerman addressed the remaining staff on a call.

Three people on the call said Zimmerman told employees that, while they were spared, they would need to work “two and a half times harder” or he would replace them with the laid-off employees who had “begged” for their jobs.

Fast-forward to this March, when some employees accused the agency of pressuring them to go back to the office, regardless of whether they had been vaccinated or had high-risk family members. In some cases, employees said management threatened layoffs if they didn’t return.

Read the full story: Employees say they experienced racism and sexism at Zimmerman Advertising, an Omnicom agency known for clients like McDonald’s and Nissan


Other stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading, and see you next week. And remember you can sign up for this newsletter here.

– Lucia

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